What are the main cost centres when building a modular home? (And how they affect your price!)

Hello again! This week we thought we’d share some insight into what the main cost centres in home building are.

Many clients, (and even builders) will focus solely on just the total m2  price as a guide to the cost of the home. This, at best, can only give you’re an approximate guide and, at worst, will mislead you completely. Our design consultants will work with you through the process to help you MAXIMISE the value in your new modular home while MINIMISING the cost!

So, after studying the homes our clients choose to build, we’ve come up with a bit of a list of the main items that will affect the price of your home. This will give you a fair idea of where the most ‘value’ is in your home and what you need to focus on to minimise cost.


I think it’s important to state here that this list we’ve created is just the main cost centres in your new home. It is where the majority of the money you will be paying will be spent. They are the items that increase (or decrease) the PRICE the most.

BUT – on the flip side they are generally also the items that add the most VALUE to your home. Not only are they valuable from a resale perspective, but they are also valuable to you on a practical level. For example, your kitchen. It’s one of the most used areas in your home. Most clients want to spend a lot of time getting this right.

So, its really important that you understand that you may wish to spend a little more on some of these items. An extra $5,000 spent on your kitchen, for instance, may just increase the value of your home by double that!

In view of allowing you to MAXIMISE the value of your home while MINIMISING the cost of the home, we’ve taken a look at some of the main cost centres for you to focus on.

Stone Benchtops

CUSTOM Kitchens

Ah, the kitchen. This is quite often the most used, and most important, area in a home. It’s where quite literally you will spend a fair proportion of your home time. Its also the heart of your home – where many a major decision is made!

Some of the options that will affect the cost of the kitchen are:

As you can see from the options listed above, the price of your kitchen can easily sky-rocket.  If you are trying to keep your budget down, we’d recommend you look at the essential features you need first before getting into some of your ‘wishlist’ items!

Wet Areas (EG.: Bathrooms, Ensuites & Laundries)

The next main feature that costs a lot in a new modular home is the wet areas. These are areas like your bathrooms, ensuites and laundries. The main reason your wet areas are a major cost centre is due to the fact that there are so many items in fairly small areas. Things like tiles, baths, shower screens, vanities and toilets.

In particular with tiling – the cost and style of the tile are critical. For instance, rectified edge or porcelain tiles will cost more. Also adding tiles to the ceiling will increase the cost.

The number of options in your bathrooms is also very large. We’ve seen clients spend over $3,000 just for a shower rose! Then add your shower screens, wall hung vanities, free-standing baths and the price has risen considerably.

VALUE ADDING Floorcoverings

Another really important thing to consider! Your floor coverings need to look lovely, stand up to wear and tear and not cost the earth!

Thankfully, there are a lot of options now-days for floorcoverings. We recommend ‘vinyl plank’ flooring for the durability and look, especially if you are looking for alternatives to timber flooring. Also, remember that carpet is normally more cost-effective than any other floorcovering so try to ‘sensibly’ maximise the use of carpet over against other floor covering options.


This size and the total area of your outdoor area is another major cost item. With verandah’s its important to remember that, while the m2 price will be less than the main house, it still costs.

To maximise verandah size, we recommend our clients aim to build wider verandah rather than a long and skinny verandah. This means that, while a 6ft wide verandah down the side of the home looks great, a 8m x 4m wide deck is going to be more cost-effective and far more practical.

You can check out our article on verandahs here


So – transport. This does only apply to modular homes.

When looking at maximising the value in your home but minimising the cost of your home you need to think about the transport of the modules to your site. Obviously, you can’t change where your site is! What we really need to look at here is the number of trips the transport team will need to make to ship you house to site.

We’ve got a really helpful article on transport here.

Large modular home

THE COST OF Site Works

And lastly – the site works. This consists of your power, water, sewerage, sheds and any other major costs. The perfect, and the most cost-effective site is a flat site with M type soil, close connection to power, town water and town sewer. Unfortunately – it’s most likely not yours! (Or mine!)

So – what are the main things to watch out for with site works?

  • Most importantly – is power connection accessible? If you block has power already your fine. If not, you need to speak with an electrician to find out the cost of getting it connected.
  • Check the sewerage and water connections. A sewerage system and water tanks can add at least $20,000 to the building cost of your home.
  • And lastly, find out if your local council has any planning overlays or conditions on your site. This includes things like flood area, bush fire, landslip, heritage, bio-diversity, ecology, koala, etc.

Check out this article on site costs and things to consider when looking for land for more info!


Ok, so that’s a lot of information for you to take in. and really, we don’t expect you to understand it all, I mean, it’s our job anyway!

The design consultants here at Westbuilt are here to help every one of our clients maximise the value of their home and minimise the cost. If we can see a better, more cost-effective way of doing something in your home, we’ll recommend it to you! Check out our mission and vision here!

Just give the team a call on 1800 688 044 or email us at with any questions or queries!



If you have your own vision for your house, we are happy to work with you to design the perfect layout that is tailored just for you.


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